Before we jump into the recipe for this Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta, we gotta talk about the holidays. December was a whirlwind! Anyone else feel that way? I swear, I just put up Christmas decorations and it’s already time to put them away. Christmas is my favorite time of year because it’s the one time of the year where all of my family gets together in one place, and there’s always peppermint bark and toffee. You know, the important things. But in all honesty, Christmas always feels so magical!
We were lucky enough to spend a couple of days at the coast visiting Michael’s family, which is always a good time. We made hot chocolate, decorated the Christmas tree, opened gifts, and ate pizza. Simple, stress-free and perfect.
While at the coast we stayed at my grandparent’s house for the last time. In all of my 27 years of life, I remember only 2 houses that my grandparent’s lived in. I cried when they moved out of the first home, only to fall in love with the new home and make new memories. I know the same will happen in their new house, but there’s something so sentimental about saying goodbye to the home where I celebrated my high school graduation, spent numerous holidays and hosted my bridal shower.
What I am most thankful for is that my all time favorite memory made at their home happened just last weekend, the last day we would all be together at their house. Three generations (Grammy, mom and I) were getting ready together in my Grammy’s bathroom. It was the first time us girls had done each others makeup, and although it was a simple activity, it meant so much to me to have those laughs and memories be made in that quick 20 minutes. My Grammy, who I just adore, has quite the beauty stash. Her bathroom resembles a Nordstrom beauty counter, so we got to play with all the goods.
She attempted to put eyeliner on my mom, and I went in behind her to clean up the edges. We laughed at my mom’s reaction when Grammy pulled out mascara and blush. My mom has never been much of a makeup person but she was a trooper as we played around with “the stash.” The moment was quick and simple, but it’s a memory of the three of us that I’ll always treasure.
Best Christmas Gift Ever
We spent the rest of the weekend in Portland at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. It’s always a good time when all of us cousins, brothers and sisters get together. Much of our time was spent playing Pounce, the fast-paced card game that always leaves us laughing and arguing over who “pounced” first. Christmas was only sweetened by the news that my parents would be moving back to Oregon after spending the last few years in Idaho. Now, instead of 6 hours away, they’ll only be 2.5! This news was better than any gift santa could give me.
I’m grateful that 2017 ended on such a high note. I have much to look forward to over the next year, but I’m hoping to take it just one moment at a time. There’s so much peace to be gained from living in the present, something that I struggled with a lot over the last year. But, the only way to make this year any different is to do things differently. As a self-proclaimed control freak, I’m planning to spend a lot less time planning and a lot more time breathing. Sounds simple, but I believe that there’s so much to gain from letting go of fear of what the future holds, and just focusing on breathing in this very moment. It’s the one thing that helps me notice the present; I’m breathing, I’m alive, I’m present. Anyone else up for the challenge of being more present?
To start off the new year, I’m bring you a new recipe for one of my favorite dishes; Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta. Now, before all of you Alfredo critics point out the obvious, I’ll admit that this isn’t your traditional Alfredo sauce recipe. In fact, it’s so far from the original, I’m almost afraid to call it “Alfredo.” But I encourage you to keep an open mind! It isn’t going to taste exactly like the original Alfredo sauce that you are used to, but it will taste good! And that’s truly the only thing that matters.
The first time I made this recipe was years ago when Michael and I were dabbling in Veganism. I was craving a creamy white sauce to pair with my pasta noodles and was inspired to make this Cauliflower Alfredo sauce after making a creamy cauliflower soup. Since we were vegan, we didn’t use any cream cheese or heavy cream to make our sauce, but the cauliflower adds all the creaminess you need. That being said, if you like adding a little cheese, shaving some fresh parmesan on top of this pasta would be so. stinking. delicious.
To replace the cheese in this recipe, I used nutritional yeast, which is basically the secret weapon in every dairy-free cheese recipe! It has a slightly nutty and cheesy flavor, and it’s jam packed with B-vitamins. I encourage you to adjust any recipe you find online, including mine, to your own liking. It’s what I do, and it’s what has made cooking so much fun. So, let’s jump into this recipe!
Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta
- 2-3 cups noodles (I love these Brown Rice Fusilli Noodles from TJ's!)
- 15 ounces cauliflower florets
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil (or olive oil spray)
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon garlic-infused olive oil (or 1 teaspoon minced garlic and ½ teaspoon olive oil)
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon basil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread cauliflower florets on baking sheet and spray or drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 25 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil and throw in (okay, gently place) noodles in the boiling water and boil until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- Drain pasta and place noodles in a large serving bowl.
- Place roasted cauliflower, garlic-infused olive oil, milk, nutritional yeast, and spices in a blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds - 1 minute. Make sure to leave a gap between the lid and the blender so heat can escape without blowing the lid off the top. I love using my Vitamix blender to make sauce because it blends everything till it's super smooth!
- Pour the sauce over the noodles and gently mix until the noodles are evenly coated with the Alfredo sauce.
Eat as is or serve with a side of chicken and steamed broccoli like we did below! Enjoy!
Items I Used in This Recipe:
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